Getting to KL was a challenge; there is no doubt about that. From delayed flights to crazy cross-town cab rides to unexpected overnights along the way, a “short” thirty-hour travel day turned into over forty hours. But, since arriving, we’ve been slowly working on getting settled in at our new home and Thad’s been plugging away with the check-in process at the embassy. While we don’t yet have internet (although, by the time this gets posted, we will, but as for now, we’re web-less and I am just stacking up posts for when I am reconnected to the blogosphere) and I don’t have a phone set-up, I’m finding ways to compensate and juggle learning a new place while staying connected with the old ones. (That feels awfully Girl Scouts-esque/sing-along-y…something about gold and silver and old and new friends. Having only survived a single year of Brownies before deciding that brown was not my color and I’d rather not wear those dorky knee-high socks with tassels, I have merely a rudimentary knowledge of Girl Scout workings. I do love a Thin Mint right out of the fridge though!)
Six months ago, I would never have thought I would be homesick for Chengdu, but there are definite twinges of that now that we are on the ground at post #2. In Chengdu, I had a full-time, wonderful job with great colleagues and fantastic bosses. In Chengdu, I had a tight group of friends who were always up for some freshly pulled noodles at the Muslim restaurant, a Wednesday evening of horribly un-athletic Zumba or Sunday morning brunch at the Lazy Pug. It’s only been three days in KL, but I already miss those existing relationships. I know in time I will find the same here, but I dread the awkward first introductions, get-to-know-you lunches and initial happy hours. Now, I have to start at square one with explaining my 5-year-old-like eating habits and why melons just taste too melon-y and there is no need for sauce on 98% of dishes.
But, this is what we’ve signed up for and I’m on board, but that doesn’t make the transition stress-free.
We are thrilled with our new home. Already, many people at post have commented on how lucky we are with our housing assignment and how they wish they had our place. The best description of it is a very tall split-level. There is a garage on the bottom (which I’ve taken to calling the basement, even though it is ground level), then up half a flight of stairs is the living room and a splendid screened-in patio that looks out towards the pool. (Screens= less chance of dengue, although I hear two community members currently have this lovely “bone breaking” curse, so it’s always good to be vigilant.) Continuing up another half flight of stairs is the kitchen/dining room, from which you can see the Petronas Towers, a stunning sight when they are lit up at night. Up again and you reach the master bedroom/bath, with vaulted ceilings and what is possibly the worst blanket known to man. (The welcome kit is a “disposable” one, although I’m not sure it ever gets disposed of. When our HHE arrives, we have to pack up the kit and keep it in the basement to use again in two years when our stuff heads on to unknown post #3. I’m definitely a pretty low-maintenance person, but this welcome kit leaves a whole lot to be desired. The kitchenware is super flimsy and the bath towels are sized for homunculi, but they are great for exfoliating! I figure the welcome kit is meant to be crappy so that you are just that much more appreciative and happy when your own blankets/towels/linens arrive.) And finally we reach the top floor, which I am dubbing the “guest floor” as it has two spare bedrooms and a full bathroom. (This should encourage all of you who are contemplating coming to Malaysia for a visit in the next two years. We’ve got an entire floor for you!) We’ve also got a pool just a few feet from our backdoor, but we have yet to try it out, due to a lack of usable towels! (The teensy ones in the welcome kit aren’t really pool-appropriate. But soon…I’m pondering an IKEA run this weekend.)
Compared to Chengdu, we have a massive amount of storage space and are excited to get our personal belongings here to really make our new place “home.” Once I’ve got pictures and wall hangings up, my massive bean bag chair ensconced in the living room and my treadmill put back together, we’ll be set for the next couple of years. Home sweet home. (I initially typed “sweat,” which is nearly as appropriate with the gazillion percent humidity outside each day.)
Guests, start planning your travel now. Two years in KL is going to fly-by and you don’t want to miss out on an entire floor to yourself!